Weisbrod Chinese Art Collection History
Dr. Gerald Weisbrod, a Toronto physician, started collecting in the early 1960’s. At first, he collected antique furniture and paintings to decorate his home. He then began to purchase Chinese porcelains and works of arts. Early Chinese works of art quickly became a passion leading to the opening of the first Weisbrod gallery in Toronto, in the Spring of 1972. It was a dream come true. A few months later, another of Dr. Weisbrod’s dreams came true when his son, Michael, joined him.
Michael was imbued with the same collector’s passion as his father. He loved going on buying trips with him, listening to his father’s astute appraisal of all the pieces and people they encountered. To further expand his academic knowledge, Michael studied under the tutelage of the curators at the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto. During the mid 1970’s Michael traveled extensively to Europe and the United States, developing close relationships with a generation of dealers who took him under their wing, passing on their vast experience. He visited major auctions houses, galleries and museums, meeting the leading curators and collectors who personally augmented and enriched his knowledge of Chinese art.
In March of 1977, Dr. Gerald Weisbrod and his son Michael opened a gallery on Madison Avenue, in New York City. Michael immediately became a leading dealer. He combined an extensive and well-rounded academic background with the rare gift of having a first-rate aesthetic appreciation of Chinese Works of Art. However, it was his sensitivity to collectors, taught to him by his father, that set him apart and continues to distance him from all other dealers. This sensitivity translated into not holding back his best pieces for himself, but selling them, one collector to another.
In 1982, the noted collector, Earl Morse in his preface to “Spirit and Ritual” The Morse Collection of Ancient Chinese Art exhibited at The Metropolitan Museum of Art said, ” My thanks go to Michael Weisbrod whose boldness in acquiring masterworks is seen in the huge camel and foreign rider, the unique pair of Northern Ch’i warriors and the Wei civil official.”
In early 1994 Weisbrod Chinese Art opened at its 57th Street in New York City . At any given time, visitors were treated to the rare, the historical, the unusual and always the most beautiful of Chinese Art. Each season a new collection was presented in the gallery. Weisbrod has published many informative catalogues, which over the decades have attained an international reputation for being rich and rewarding in both art and academic information. Leading authorities of Chinese Art contributed scholarly and enlightening essays and have also guest authored a few catalogues.
As the art market in China became more exciting, Michael Weisbrod decided to make the move to the Far East. In 2012, he opened his gallery in Shanghai, beginning a new era for the Weisbrod name. A visit to the gallery is more than a step back into time but rather a guided tour led by an energetic, unabashed collector who is just as happy to educate and to enlighten as he is to have you purchase something.
Unfortunately, many of the treasures are hidden away, because, like the true collectors they are the Weisbrod family continually buys and buys and buys so there is never enough room to display all the gallery’s treasures. It is also limiting for collectors overseas. We now introduce the creation of a virtual collection here where an interested collector may come to peruse night or day.
We have carefully chosen a selection of Fine Chinese Art for your online viewing but please remember that there is always more, behind the scenes, all you need do is contact us and ask to see more. Recently and in anticipation of their 50th anniversary Weisbrod has opened a new gallery in Hong Kong.
One thing is certain, collectors can always count on Michael’s unflagging desire and expert eye for finding the most desirable of early Chinese objects. The Weisbrod galleries will always be filled with exciting and unique pieces.
Chinese Works of Art from the Weisbrod Family Collections have been purchased by or exhibited in the following institutions:
The Poly Museum, Beijing
Rhode Island School of Design
Reitberg Museum, Zurich
Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto
The Saint Louis Art Museum
The Tsui Museum of Art, Hong Kong
Museum of Sex, New York
The Art Museum, Princeton University
Birmingham Museum of Art
The Brooklyn Museum of Art
China Institute of America, New York
The City Museum of New York
The Cleveland Museum of Art
The Corning Museum of Glass
Denver Art Museum
Elvehjem Museum of Art, University of Wisconsin, Madison
The Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University
Hong Kong Museum of Art
Idemitsu Museum, Tokyo
Indianapolis Museum of Art
Jacksonville Art Museum
The Joseph and Margaret Muscarelle Museum of Art
College of William and Mary
M.H. de Young Memorial Museum, San Francisco, California
Matsuoka Museum of Art, Tokyo
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
The Montreal Museum of Art
Museum fur Ostasiatische Kunst, Koln
Museum of East Asian Art, Bath, England
Museum of Fine Arts,. Boston
The National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
Phoenix Art Museum
As seen, the Weisbrod name has been synonymous with discerning taste and extensive scholarly knowledge since 1972.